Thursday, August 2, 2012

Draft Prep: Busts

Cam Newton (QB, CAR, ADP 17.2): He certainly has the talent and the offensive line to not be a bust, but his numbers from last year are simply a long shot. If you could grab him in the third or fourth round, he would be more than worth a pick. But going middle of the second round is way too high to justify a pick for Cam. Rushing touchdowns are very hard to predict and there is almost no way Newton comes close to his 2nd in the NFL 14 rushing touchdowns. According to Christopher Harris' research, quarterbacks who score 6 or more rushing touchdowns in a season average only 2.1 the following season. Luckily for Cam, he is no Michael Vick when it comes to injuries. Instead, a more fair comparison is to Dante Culpepper. This a good thing for the huge, athletic freak who does appear to be fairly durable. While I expect Cam's numbers should decline, the main reason for me labeling him a bust is because of where he is being drafted. But with elite upside and not a ton a downside, Cam will not bust quite to the level that Derek Anderson did.

What? I'm not elite?
Matt Schaub (QB, HOU, 90.0): Those who think Schaub still has elite potential are sorely wrong. Houston is a run-first team now making for far less opportunities for Schaub. Not only is he very injury prone, but his elite target Andre Johnson has not been able to stay on the field either.

If everything is okay, then
 why don't you stop holding out?
Maurice Jones-Drew (RB, JAC, 7.7): Still holding out, MJD is definitely someone to keep on eye on. While the Jags have by no means ever been an offensive juggernaut, having Blaine Gabbert does absolute nothing to take pressure off of MJD. Of the top four running backs, he has the most question marks surrounding him. He is still just 27 years old, but his carries are piling up. He had over 380 touches last year and was probably overworked. And with the holdout still going, MJD is setting himself up to disappoint countless owners.

Jamaal Charles (RB, KC, 26.4): Chalres is an immense talent who has averaged 5.8 yards per carry in his career. But questions about his recovery from a torn ACL and Peyton Hillis in the mix make Charles a less than ideal option. Even if he is at full strength, he will surely lose goaline carries to Hillis. And Charles' explosiveness and open-field running depend so much on his ACL that I do not see Charles being his old self.

Fred Jackson (RB, BUF, 35.0): He will be 31 this year and is recovering from a broken leg. Not only that, but C.J. Spiller excelled in his absence which indicates a major timeshare coming. I expect Jackson to receive the majority of carries, but Spiller will take a huge bite into his production. Do not expect anything close to Jackson's first half of last season. While his wife might not be as hesitant about picking him this year, everyone else should have caution in regards to picking him.

Willis McGahee (RB, DEN, 54.1): McGahee's late-career resurgence turned heads last year. But going from a run-heavy, Tebow-led offense to a Peyton Manning offense will render McGahee useless. He is not a great pass-catching back and is mediocre in pass blocking. Expect other Broncos running backs to take reps and for McGahee's age to catch up to him.

Andre Johnson (WR, HOU, 14.4): Really. I'm serious. For a guy who has played just 20 games in the past two seasons, I am not optimistic. The now run-heavy Texans also have a much better defense which means less catch-up for them and less throwing. I would much rather take Roddy White, Greg Jennings, and even Wes Welker. Taking an early second round pick on Johnson would be unwise and way too risky. If you can get him in the third round, well, then he is a potential steal. But don't be fooled by Johnson. He should no longer be looked at as an obvious top two wideout.

Mike Wallace (WR, PIT, 26.6): Of all my bust candidates, this is the one I feel most strong about. He was Big Ben's second favorite target last year and had an abysmal second half. In the last nine games, he had only two with double digit scoring. He is still holding out and it does not appear to be ending any time soon. Wallace does have number one potential, but is much better suited as a number two receiver this year. And if he gets traded, it will likely not help his value in any way. Stay away from him in drafts.

Vincent Jackson (WR, TB, 53.9): This guy could be labeled a bust almost every year. He almost always seems to be labeled as a near-elite receiver but never produces like one. He has never had more than 70 catches or double digit touchdowns. He now switches from Philip Rivers to Josh Freeman throwing him the ball. And Tampa Bay will be a run-oriented team. He will disappoint like usual. That, you can count on.

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